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Thread: Volcanic Cliffs C&C

  1. #1

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    Volcanic Cliffs C&C

    I am on a bit of a black & white kick lately and would like to get some C&C on this shot. I will post both the black & white and color versions below. My questions are as follows:

    1. Was this image a good candidate for conversion? If so, how could I improve it?
    2. If you prefer the color version, any suggestions on the PP there would be appreciated as well.
    3. How does this composition work for you? I intentionally kept the image wide and was trying to use the concept of leading lines to, well, lead the viewers eye through the image.
    4. Is the image to static despite the leading lines? Would a re-shoot at less of an upwards angle been more successful?
    5. Feel free to enlighten me on anything else that I may not be seeing about the image and PP.


    As a side note, the mono image was entered in a mini competition and it did reasonably well (in case it seems familiar to some of you). The image was/is intended to be part of a series that I am working on and I want to use this series as a point of departure to better my overall skills and eye so any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Here is the link to the mini comp if you are curious: Monochrome Mini Competition #857

    Lastly, both images seem to have lost a great deal of their sharpness upon import via tiny pics which puzzles me as the resized jpegs look nice and sharp on my home monitor.

    The color image:

    Volcanic Cliffs C&C

    The b&W image:

    Volcanic Cliffs C&C

  2. #2
    dje's Avatar
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    Dave Ellis

    Re: Volcanic Cliffs C&C

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneS View Post
    I am on a bit of a black & white kick lately and would like to get some C&C on this shot. I will post both the black & white and color versions below. My questions are as follows:

    1. Was this image a good candidate for conversion? If so, how could I improve it?
    2. If you prefer the color version, any suggestions on the PP there would be appreciated as well.
    3. How does this composition work for you? I intentionally kept the image wide and was trying to use the concept of leading lines to, well, lead the viewers eye through the image.
    4. Is the image to static despite the leading lines? Would a re-shoot at less of an upwards angle been more successful?
    5. Feel free to enlighten me on anything else that I may not be seeing about the image and PP.

    Hi Shane

    I'm in a similar boat to you with a bit of recent emphasis on B&W conversions with Silver Efex Pro.

    In my (non-expert) opinion, this image is quite a good candidate for B&W. The experts tell us that B&W is all about lines and textures and you certainly have that here.

    I'm not sure that I have a preference for colour or B&W in this instance, they are both fine, just different. The B&W forces you to concentrate on the lines in the rock more.

    I'm happy enough with the composition although I wonder what a wider view would have looked like. The shot seems to have been taken from a good angle.

    Not much else I can think of I'm afraid. Keep up the good work and have fun with the B&W conversions.

    Dave

  3. #3
    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: Volcanic Cliffs C&C

    The B&W conversion has worked well and I feel makes the image a little stronger(dynamic?). The highlights in the clouds are competing with the rock detail for my attention. It would be interesting to see a version with the clouds (particularly along the top edge) toned down a bit.

    The formations along the top of the rocks are dramatic but the location looks as if it would offer some great semi abstracts images using just the shapes and textures in the rocks without including any skyline or sky.

  4. #4

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    wm c boyer

    Re: Volcanic Cliffs C&C

    Harsh sunlight and landscape often go well together in a B&W conversion.

  5. #5

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    Re: Volcanic Cliffs C&C

    Overall impression: Job well done, as explained in the details below. I look forward to seeing the entire set someday that you are producing.

    1. It's a great candidate for B&W conversion. The blue sky (more than the clouds) in the color version competes for my attention and the sky in the B&W version complements the rest of the image. The light is also more suitable to B&W than color.

    You have done such a nice job of converting it that any improvements are subject to personal taste. Some people would use more contrast in the mid tones and you might (or might not) want to try doing that in the lower third of the image that displays the leading lines.

    2. Though I don't prefer the color version, I would like it better if the blue sky was toned down a bit to look more natural.

    3. The composition is pleasing for me. The leading lines are very effective. The lines at the top of the ridge are interesting. The cave-like area on the right and its outer lines that form a wedge complement the rest of the image very nicely.

    However, like all of my images of this kind, I have the feeling that the perspective lacks the perfect angle and drama that make me say "Wow!" Having said that, it's very possible that this particular location doesn't have the physical properties that scream "Wow!" Instead, this location may be more about interesting serenity, which is fine if that's the case. It's also possible, actually, I would guess likely, that you were never going for the wow factor here.

    4. The image isn't at all static in my mind. If anything, I would probably try using more, not less, of an upward angle combined with perhaps a shorter focal length. If you're looking for more wow factor (you may not be), perhaps it would come with that combination. Your 18mm focal length mounted on your DX format is similar to a 27mm focal length mounted on a full-frame camera, which is more of a wide angle than an ultra wide angle.

    Sharpness: It looks fine on my monitor. I upload all of my images using TinyPic and have never noticed any softening. Is it possible that the background color when using your software is so different from the background color of CiC that an optical illusion causes you to think the images displayed here are softer? One reason I like CiC is that the background color is very similar to the background color of all of the software that I use for viewing and editing photos.

    Again, very nice job!

  6. #6

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    Re: Volcanic Cliffs C&C

    Thanks everyone! I will go back and have a play with the sky as your comments have enlightened me with your comments about it competing with the rock formation.

    For those that have asked the image was shot at 27mm on a crop sensor. I believe that I started at 18mm but was trying to obscure some distracting elements from the frame which got me to 27mm. There is a potential for a re-shoot so I might give 18mm a try the next time I am at that location.

    L.Paul the area is great for abstracts and I am still working on some from the area but haven't had much success between my 'eye' and the lighting when I have visited. There are lots of shadows to deal with during most times of the day.

    Mike the 'wow' factor is always a goal but not always achievable on any given day. The good thing is that the area is very close to home and I can keep going back until I get the wow shot.

    Thanks again for your insights.

  7. #7

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    Re: Volcanic Cliffs C&C

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneS View Post
    For those that have asked the image was shot at 27mm on a crop sensor. I believe that I started at 18mm but was trying to obscure some distracting elements from the frame which got me to 27mm.
    The EXIF data indicates that the focal length was 18mm.

  8. #8

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    Re: Volcanic Cliffs C&C

    You are correct, Mike. I took another look and Bridge said 27mm but that was on a FF camera...thanks for taking the time to look. That is as wide as I can go with my existing complement of lenses

  9. #9

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    Re: Volcanic Cliffs C&C

    A close up of some of the layers of lava rock from the same day (for L.Paul and anyone else who might be interested).

    I had the abstract in mind while I was there but don't feel that I was successful, however, I did learn that I need to get a lot closer to the cliffs in order to eliminate some context from the images to really achieve an effective abstract .

    Volcanic Cliffs C&C

  10. #10
    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: Volcanic Cliffs C&C

    As I suspected there are overwhelming possibilities. The challenge in photography is to isolate and simplify the scene. It is a place I am sure I would end up with dozens of almost right images and then need someone else to help me decide on the one that works best.

  11. #11

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    Re: Volcanic Cliffs C&C

    Just on the subject of sharpness and uploading through tinypics ....what size file did you offer tinypics ? I make a practice of resizing images for inclusion in forums to 700 pixels across and final stage prior to uploading is to sharpen following the re-sizing.
    This means that tinypics does not have to resize and posssibly they do not subsequently sharpen as one can at home.
    This is just supersition on my part but I don't notice a lack of sharpness in mine.

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